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The Virgin Strike Thread II

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The Virgin Strike Thread II

Old 3rd Jan 2008, 10:24
  #281 (permalink)  
 
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Kasual Observer

I think you are counting your chickens a little premature, a few messages on here do not show the overall picture, a poll on cabincrew.com shows strong support for strike and lots of crew in conversations I am having with crew are prepared to strike and insulted by the company trying to use futher underhand tactics (pay offs) to get by it.

As for an "I told you so", let us see what happens, it is clear to see there is support for the strike from crew as well as support for "no strike" from mostly other departments (and some crew).

So, what can you do about it now? Not much I suspect. The damage has been done. Your terms and conditions as well as working relationships between crew and management will have been set back as much as ten years or more.
This is why we must all now stick as a single unit in order to protect this from happening, Kasual observer has said it, Vs_lhr has said it, I have said it, scoobydoo has said it, if there is ever a time this is it otherwise it's down the tubes.


Judging from the posts on here, you all need a serious kick up the arse for not being cohesive enough and for not listening to free advice in the first place.
Your message was reading so well until that last statement, it sounded a little pig headed.

Vs_lhr after all this time I thought you were cabin crew, now you have said you are office/ground based the pieces line up better.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 10:45
  #282 (permalink)  
 
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Your points r very valid KO. The reason I mentioned the 300 which may I add, was the first time I had heard of this payment was because 'Raffles' had mentioned it and the way he did, sounded as if it was instead of the measley 42 that we get. However, I have said all along that I felt our union reps and the union itself really wasn't strong enough to represent us and the whole thing was a shambles.

The main problem being that we as the crew, rely on the union reps, who have had little training to hold that position and have allowed the union and in particular B Boyd to fail us. We belong to the union because we expect to be well represented and to be represented in the way that we have is a waste of time and money and more importantly has ended up in a worse position than we've ever been in before!!

I remember speaking to one of the union reps some time ago who has been here longer than me, who told me, that we should accept one of the previous offers, which included removing a crew member from the aircraft and coming out of air share, because it was the best deal that we were going to get!! I believe that after this fiasco, we should find an alternative union and start looking for new people to stand as union reps. Those who are voted in, should then be given the appropriate training so that this kind of thing never happens again!

I think we have made ourselves look totally stupid in the eyes of the company and have done ourselves no favours!

A question has been asked a few times in this forum that nobody has yet answered and the reason is, because NOBODY knows the answer!! So I'll ask it again and see what comes back:

What was it that the cabin crew wanted in order to accept the deal and what EXACTLY did the union ask from the company? What did Brian Boyd tell the company that we were looking for?

Replying 'Better Pay & Conds" is not an acceptable answer!
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 10:49
  #283 (permalink)  
 
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VCCM

What are you striking for? What is your goal? What would you accept as a pay offer?

As a pilot workforce, we have always approached the negotiating table with a clear cut idea of what we want. This is not always achieved, but it is used as a starting point for negotiation. We have trained company council reps who have the backing of BALPA.

Your union has left you up the creek without a paddle. They are the ones who have let you down. Twice they have agreed offers with the company which in turn have been rejected. This clearly shows they do not have a clue what their union membership wants.

So what now?

Blind strike action, that will in all likelyhood fail to disrupt the company too much, which in turn undermines the union further. The way I see it, you are taking out the failings of your union on the company.

I agreee, you are underpaid. But you have gone the wrong way about it.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 10:55
  #284 (permalink)  
 
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Just a thought, but regarding the number of crew needed to strike in order for 'significant' disruption to services, has anyone considered that unless there are enough defib trained crew on each flight then the planes won't be going anywhere? It doesn't matter if all the JNR and SNR's in the whole company turn up, if there aren't enough CSS's, FSM's and SEP/Av Med instructors to cover each flight then there could be a lot more cancellations.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 11:04
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I'm not 100% sure that it's a legal requirement that we have to have a defib on board???? It's something that we have, but I think the company would find a way around it if was the deciding factor on whether to operate or cancel a flight
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 11:23
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gatbrusdriver,

Personally minimum for me is inflation and increase in trip pay without standby. It's very close to what the union negotiated with the company. The union also acknowledged in letter 2 I think that 1 crew down, the most common scenario requires better addressing. This would be a bonus this time, but NEEDS to go in next time as I see a mass staff exodus after this saga as people move to other carriers sick of the way this has been handled by BOTH sides. Take the >RPI component (0.5%) and redirect it into trip pay or crew down payments. The deal should only be for one year, so that all the other problem areas can be addressed almost immediately (its nearly time to start neg again), and not brushed under the carpet with empty promises (like we do respect you and will treat you better next time).

I do not believe they are unrealistic, and yes I did communicate this.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 11:32
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Been in contact with a few older timer FSM's and it seems they're all supporting the stirkes! So far 3 or 4 names have also been surfaced who are flying and they are not proving to be popular amongst those supporting the action.

This will certainly cause a massive divide in the company!
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 12:10
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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Vs_lhr after all this time I thought you were cabin crew, now you have said you are office/ground based the pieces line up better.
As mentioned in the previous thread, someone I know within Virgin was turfed out for posting information about the company on Internet forums. The 'confidentiality clause'. I find better not to be too specific about where I am; advice which a few posters on cc.com could use (using a handle which is similar to your real name and posting flights you're scheduled to operate but won't be turning up for leaves a few too many clues for the company - and don't doubt for a second they are reading every word posted here, there and the other place).

Personally minimum for me is inflation and increase in trip pay without standby
And herein lies the problem. The key phrase in there is 'for me' - what the union have failed to do is identify what the majority of crew want. You may have communicated your wish list to them, but if they read it, they didn't take an awful lot of notice in the negotiation room.

You cannot deny that the strike support is fragmented. Just over 30% of the workforce is not enough to bring the company to its knees, as they will have calculated how to operate flights with minimum crew and using as many qualified covers as possible. Even if every one of the 1500 who voted yes to strike, and the 1000 who sat on the fence take action on the 9/10th, that still leaves a pool of about 2000 crew for the company to draw upon. Without checking the exact schedules for the days concerned, I'd say there were about 30 flights to get out with the ones we already know are cancelled. Lets say they can get by with 15 crew on each; that's 450 for each day, plus assume the same again are downroute. That's 1800 people needed, and they've had time to juggle rotas and holidays to make that work. With the addition of an unknown quantity of qualified ground-based staff, I'd say the company's planned schedule is actually conservative.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 12:36
  #289 (permalink)  
 
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You assume all no voters are non strikers. I suppose from the companies perspective the glass is hall full looking at it this way and so that's what they told the press and customers, they wouldnt want to scare people.

Just for one second assume the glass is half empty, then only 12% of union crew are willing to operate plus non members who are not sick (lets not argue on the sick thing, we know there will be huge sickness these days, maybe as high as Christmas >400)

In reality we dont know what the "non voters" will do.

They cant change someones roster, they could of catered for it if the strike dates had been released pre roster issue but they were not, I dont know of anyone who has has had a roster changes to cater for strikes.

If the company has planned it can operate because only 30% of crew will strike then there will be a rude awakening. It would stand to reason that the company perhaps believes it is more than 30% who will not appear to work, could that be why it has offered incentives to bribe people to come to work, otherwise there would be nothing to worry about would there if 70% of crew were coming to work?
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 13:30
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You assume all no voters are non strikers.
No, in my calculation I said assume *all* the no-voters would be strikers.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 13:32
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It will be a relief when 9th Jan arrives, then we will all finally see exactly what impact the 'strike' will have, one way or another.

In the mean time, this thread will just go round and round and round in a circle of sniping, like it pretty much has done from day one!!
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 13:57
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Beware people, cabin crew management are phoning everyone just now to ask if you are going to turn up for your flight on the strike days, which shows to what extent they are panicking. Also if they phone you up then DONT tell them your plans( unless you lie, i.e say your gonna turn up and dont!).

Also can i just say that if you have ANY questions about the strike then instead of posting them here i would strongly suggest you phone up one of the reps who will clarify anything need knowing.

But what I have learned is if you are due to operate a flight on a strike day then YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PHONE THE COMPANY TO TELL THEM YOU ARE NOT OPERATING YOUR FLIGHT!!

The whole point of a strike is to cause maximum disruption that will in turn force the company to offer us a better deal, telling the company will allow them to make contigency plans which is why the aforementioned management are trying to work out who will be turning up for work and who won't.

So ignore your phonecall on your phone if you don't recognise the no.

See you on the picket Line!!!
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 14:32
  #293 (permalink)  
 
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hi ive just had a call from a cpm at the office - they rang me at home so i could not screen the call as i would on a mobile. they asked me whether or not i planned to operate on the strike day as i am rostered to do so i said that i was undecided and would be consulting with colleauges on my next flight. They were absolutely fine with this and did not try to pressure me into giving a direct answer however slightly concerned that people will be put on the spot as i was when the call arrives and what grounds they hold people to if they say oh yes i am working or whether you say no im not and then a mark goes against your name to blacklist you and prevent any future progression with the company. Surely if they were given the option of promoting 2 ppl they would look back and say oh yes they operated over the strike therefore they get promoted. this may be the cynic in me but do not all companies operate in this way?
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 14:54
  #294 (permalink)  
 
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I agree that its a bit pointless to be calling call crew to see if they intend to fly but JB1888 if you think that striking will get you more money then what planet are you on? This isn't a game !
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 14:55
  #295 (permalink)  
 
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Devil So what are you really striking for?

GATBUSDRIVER makes a very valid point. As a passenger of Virgin I find it very disappointing that so many contibutors on this board put forward so many differing views. Why has your union not sat down with you and agreed EXACTLY what are the key objectives of any negotiation? If your cause is just - and it may well be despite the outpourings of SRB - you must define those exactly and the union should negotiate with the management and then report back to you. As an outsider it seems to me that the union has let you down badly. Perhaps it is time for an arm of BALPA to be formed. BALCCA - British Airline Cabin Crew Association. I fancy the strike will go off "half-cock" and there will just be a messy few days with no real result other than a great number of angry passengers, disappointed CC and a company slightly worse off financially. I am not travelling on the strike days, nor am I an employee of any airline, nor a journalist.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 14:57
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Surely if they were given the option of promoting 2 ppl they would look back and say oh yes they operated over the strike therefore they get promoted. this may be the cynic in me but do not all companies operate in this way?
Well even though they are supposed to be unbiased, I think human nature suggests that a manager looking at that situation would indeed promote the non-striker.

As for the calls, I think you took the right action in saying you are undecided rather than lie. Wilfully lying to the company could get you into hot water. If I lied to my manager, I'm pretty sure a disciplinary wouldn't be far off - pending strike action doesn't protect you from that
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 15:02
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So we're playing hide and seek now - fantastic!

Who's counting and for how long?
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 15:10
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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It does go to show that obviously not as many people as they've been saying have been volunteering to fly, if they had, why are they panicking and calling the crew?

The problem is that as much as the company say they will protect the identities of those who fly and will not stand for intimidation, bullying or whatever you want to call it, their names WILL get out eventually (some already have) and unless they are an FSM who is at the top of the ladder, they may well have a tough time on 'some' flights and downroute and this job can be very lonely if you end up being 'billy no mates'. I'm not saying that I would ever treat anyone any different, and there are MANY people who share my views, but, there are also many who don't and at the end of the day, we have to spend 2,3 and sometimes more days/nights away with people who we may not know until we arrive to check in. We also work in an evironment where everyone reports on everyone, FSM > CSS and CSS > Crew, need I say more?
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 15:24
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It does go to show that obviously not as many people as they've been saying have been volunteering to fly, if they had, why are they panicking and calling the crew?
Who says they're panicking? Perhaps because some crew who previously said they would strike are now telling their managers they will work, this is a re-evaluation of what workforce is available. As trollytom said, there was no pressure to work; they're just ascertaining facts. Something, it would seem, the union has omitted doing.

The problem is that as much as the company say they will protect the identities of those who fly and will not stand for intimidation, bullying or whatever you want to call it, their names WILL get out eventually (some already have) and unless they are an FSM who is at the top of the ladder, they may well have a tough time on 'some' flights and downroute and this job can be very lonely if you end up being 'billy no mates'. I'm not saying that I would ever treat anyone any different, and there are MANY people who share my views, but, there are also many who don't and at the end of the day, we have to spend 2,3 and sometimes more days/nights away with people who we may not know until we arrive to check in. We also work in an evironment where everyone reports on everyone, FSM > CSS and CSS > Crew, need I say more?
Doesn't that cut both ways? As others have suggested, being a known striker could mean crap rostas, poor promotion, few swaps, and generally not such a happy working environment.

As the company have made it abundantly clear that there will be no further deal, logic tells me that those working on the strike day will be better off. Forget talk of "well, those that break the strike should be ashamed when the strikers achieve the pay rise we want", there is no pay rise. It ain't going to happen. The company have dug their heels in too far for any last minute negotiation.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 16:03
  #300 (permalink)  
 
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I hear what you're saying, it was me who said and firmly believes that strikers will have a wee blk dot by their name and there it will stay, however, we DO have to fly with a team of crew and we DO spend time away together, for most FSM's, they're old enough and independant enough to do their own thing if nobody wants to spend time with them, but most other ranks, including the largest being 'junior' or 'cabin crew' as they're now called, wouldn't be able to put up with being left alone and having nobody to spend time with and working in a galley with people who who won't talk to them. It's those who I think will be thinking what to do MORE on personal grounds than what is good for the company or themselves financially! Will they want to carry that horrible horrbile name people who don't support a strike are called?

Names will get out because all of our names are on plenty of paperwork that is split around the company post flight (the flight report) it wont take long before they are circulated. Also names will be casually mentioned by ground staff, flight crew, other cabin crew and it will make managing flights even harder than it sometimes already is!! We already have some 'managers' who are not popular to fly with because of the way they treat the crew, so imagine when they fly with crew who did the opposite to what they did!

I'm not scare mongering, or trying not to, I'm being realistic. I've had a lot of experience with crew over the years and I know what they're like. I also had enough difficulty coming to a decision about what to do myself and I've put a lot of thought into it, so I can't imagine what's going through the heads of some who have been in the company less time than me!!
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